Athletics News

Dafne Schippers retires from track and field

Dafne Schippers retires from track and field

Dutch superstar hangs up spikes at 31 years old after glittering career which included two world titles

Dafne Schippers, who won an Olympic 200m silver medal and claimed two world titles over the distance, has retired.

The Dutch athlete finished second behind Elaine Thompson-Herah over the 200m at Rio 2016, a year after she beat the Jamaican at Beijing 2015.

At those World Championships, Schippers clocked an astonishing 21.63 to see off Thompson-Herah and became the first ever Dutch athlete – male or female – to claim a world medal over 200m.

Schippers’ 21.63 remains the European record and she is still sixth on the all-time list. Only Shericka Jackson, Gabby Thomas and Thompson-Herah have gone quicker in the last eight years.

Dafne Schippers wins at Beijing 2015 (Mark Shearman)

At London 2017, Schippers won another world 200m crown and replicated both Allyson Felix and Merlene Ottey in retaining her title.

Schippers claimed three other senior medals at a global level which included 100m silver at Beijing 2015, 100m bronze at London 2017 and heptathlon bronze at Moscow 2013.

She also had huge success at the European Championships and completed the 100m/200m double at Zurich 2014. On home soil at Amsterdam 2016, Schippers retained her 100m title and also won gold in the 4x100m relay.

Her best over 100m is 10.81, which is still joint-fourth on the European all-time list.

Initially a heptathlete, Schippers made the change to sprinting on a permanent basis after her two European golds in Zurich.

Dafne Schippers at London 2017 (Getty)

As well as multi-event success at Moscow 2013, Schippers set her personal heptathlon best of 6545 points at the Hypo-Meeting in Götzis – known as the ‘multi-event Mecca’ – in 2014.

That total was the Dutch record until Emma Oosterwegel broke it with 6590 points at the Tokyo Olympics. Anouk Vetter’s tally of 6867 is now the record.

During her peak, Schippers was the face of Dutch athletics and won an incredible 22 national indoor and outdoor titles.

She was named European Athlete of the Year in 2014 and 2015.

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